Where you grew up and your background can often have surprising effects on our lives and careers. We’ve asked folks from the community to tell us about how their background has affected them.

Kimberly Barfield | First Responder & Lifestyle Blogger

I am from Miami, Fl. Both of my parents, and my entire family is from Jamaica. They both came to America for more opportunities not just for themselves, but for their children, and I know that road was not an easy one. Everyday I push myself to learn more, and achieve more, because without them, I wouldn’t have the opportunities I have today. Read more>>

Kevyn Germaine | Personal Brand Strategist

Kevyn Germaine is a Georgia-based personal branding strategist and consultant preparing entrepreneurs and professionals for the height of their professional success. I’ve worked a number of years behind-the-scenes providing consultative guidance to start-ups of all sizes. I also worked as a finance professional by day and consultant by night to the best in business. Through my work, I package professionals that are preparing to transition from the workplace to the marketplace. It gives me great joy to see others thrive in their God-given purpose. Read more>>

Sounds By Coop | Music Producer, Songwriter & Artist

I was born in Daytona Beach, Florida. Then, at age 6 or 7, moved to Orlando, where I lived with my mother and siblings until about age 13 before moving to my current location in Georgia. It’s easier to say I’m from Orlando, primarily for the fact that the time spent there was very formative to my development as a youth, and the birthplace of my love for creating music. Growing up in Orlando, I didn’t have many musical influences – not in my family nor in the neighborhood. Although my brother did play trumpet in middle school, that didn’t influence me in any way. Read more>>

Uma Srivastava | Executive Director, KultureCity

I’m an Asian American and a proud Mississippian – those two descriptions often times do not go in the same sentence but I’m very proud of my heritage and my culture! I was born and raised in a small town in MS and this allowed me to learn about the state and its residents in detail; my classmate was the granddaughter of James Chaney – we didn’t need history books, the folks surrounding us told us the stories from the past. With my Indian background, we grew up celebrating every holiday and every tradition! Through this fusion background, I have a better appreciation for folks from all walks of life! Read more>>

Brooke Wooley | Realtor/ President of Grow Local Incorporated

I’m from what use to be a pretty small town in Florida. Growing up we worked, and early on ! I remember being 16 and working in my parent nursery in the potting pit (it’s a huge mound of potting soil ) and I had to sit there from 6am till about lunch time potting plants. My dad then comes up throws me the keys to this old beat up truck that the windows didn’t work in and tells me to run to McDonalds to grab lunch for everyone. I was so excited for the AC that I totally forgot how dirty I was , and when I walked in I instantly saw all the kids from the “cool” group in school and of course I became a laughing joke for about a week or so. Read more>>

Barbie Quinn | 2020 Atlanta Hip Hop Awards Winner for Slept on Female Rap Artist of the Year

I have lived many places growing up but my home has always been Philadelphia PA. It’s what taught me everything I know. It definitely taught me both book and streets smart. I simply grew up as a product of my environment. Now with me being a musician I am able to tell my life story. I am hoping to reach the youth in a positive way. There is so much violence on these streets right now all over the world, and since our youth is being raised by Reality tv, music, etc. I feel like they need to have music they can actually relate to instead of having just the average music that is out here these days. I was one of the lucky ones to not become a statistic. No I am not perfect but I know that my story might be able to help others. Read more>>

Tevin Mike Donson | Boylikeunderrated | Artist & Public Figure

I am Tevin Mike Donson, professionally known as Underrated from Cape Town, South Africa. A part from what I do, I think the music I started doing stemmed from a very dark place in my life. I was more like the quiet type of kids who never complained, who never asked anyone for anything, not even my parents. I think I was taken advantage of cause I didn’t really talk much, I got beat countless times, my dad sometimes went too far by bruising me and even if he did that I still didn’t say anything cause I didn’t wanted to be a burden to anyone or at that moment I felt like nobody would understand what its like going home and making sure you get into bed before your dad comes, no matter how early it was. I even wet myself in bed on purpose cause I feared to get out of my room at night. Read more>>

Abioduni Martin | Owner of D&E WRAPS LLC

My name is Abioduni Osinowo-Martin I was born in San Francisco, California, my mother is from Benin and my father is from Nigeria. I was raised not knowing or remembering who my real parents were. My two younger sister’s and I were adopted into a loving family. I was 6 years of age my two y0unger siblings were 2 and 6months old. We grew up in a rough environment around the early 80’s and 90’s. As a young African boy, not knowing how to speak any English and taken from my real parents; this wasn’t the ideal situation for me or my two siblings. Growing up I started to become a product of my environment, not in the ways one may think. I didn’t sell drugs or take them, but I would see these things all around me. Read more>>

India Harris | Mobile Notary Public

I am from Newark New Jersey, migrated to Atlanta in 2008. I am from a two parent middle class home where mom was a registered nurse and Dad was a Chemical Operator. Although life started off magnificent for me, my Mom passed away after a lengthy illness, when I was 14 years old. That was a lifechanging event that changed the trajectory of my life. As a result became a teen mother at 15, struggled to overcome trauma due the loss of my mom and experienced abandonment issues for many years. Read more>>

Todd Marcell | Best Selling Author

I am from College, Park Ga born & raised. My background had so much to do with the impact of my upbringing. I was raised in a lower middle class neighborhood in College Park, Ga. Pointer Ridge community off Flat Shoals Road and Old National Highway. In the 80’s Old National Highway was a area where black professionals moved to gain a sense of the American dream. I know that seems like a far cry from now but believe it or not Old National was the place to be. My mom worked for AT&T and my dad was a blue collar hard worker. Read more>>

Kenarri | Artist, Rapper, Singer, & Songwriter

I’m from the Southside of Atlanta Ga and went to Westlake High School. There are so many young creatives that came out of my high school alone, being in that network allowed me to expand my creative abilities in a realm with people I trust. The part of Atlanta I’m from is suburban so I have bougie tendencies but the core of who I am is remaining down to earth. Read more>>

Phalandra Squires | Clothing Designer/StylzbyPhalandra

I am from the small town of Princeton W.Va. A place where the fall was breathtaking and winters were filled with sleigh riding and snowball fights. That all changed at the age of thirteen when our house burned to the ground. Everything was gone except the clothes we had on. My mom quickly jumped into action to make sure that me and my three siblings had a place to lay our heads and food to eat. We then moved to North Carolina to start fresh in a new place. It wasn’t easy and we faced many obstacles. But the one thing I watched my mom do, was bounce back after every ordeal. She was RESILIENT! Watching her taught me how to keep pushing forward and not to give up. Read more>>

Elizabeth Bryant | Logistics Specialist

I’m from Dallas Tx Growing up I never Through of being an entrepreneur. I always wanted to be a Lawyer . After having my first son at 18 i kind of lost track of that dream . Growing up There were not many Business Owners around . Basically I was raised you go to high school then off to college especially if you want a good paying job . Well at least that’s what I was told . I went to University of Texas at Arlington Graduated with a bachelors in Criminal Justices hoping to find a good paying career .,I’ve had many Jobs some good and some bad but i couldn’t seem to find my passion the longest I’ve held one job is 2 years . Read more>>